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UNDP Turkey: This is the New Horizons Podcast prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey. In this episode, we will talk about a project which aims to decrease the pressure on local resources of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa, which are highly impacted by the population influx due to Syrian crisis, and to support both local population and Syrians under temporary protection. ‘Mitigating the Impact of Syrian Crisis in Southeast Anatolia Region’ project is financed by European Union and it is implemented by UNDP in cooperation with Southeastern Anatolia Development Project Regional Development Administration (GAP BKİ), the Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and with local partners Gaziantep Municipality, Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, and Şanlıurfa Municipality. Project has two missions: Capacity building for local and municipal service delivery; and livelihood development interventions to increase employability of impacted communities including the Syrians under temporary protection. The target is to improve the livelihoods in order to increase the employability of the impacted communities including the Syrians under temporary protection and to provide vocational trainings for industry and service sectors in Gaziantep in order to increase vocational skills for local population and Syrians, to enhance their employability chances and to support livelihoods in the short and long run. The trainings will be held in Gaziantep. The local partner for industrial sectors trainings is Gaziantep Chamber of Industry (GSO). Kürşat Göncü, the Secretary General of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry, tells why it is important to meet the needs for vocational trainings in the industry sectors:

Kürşat Göncü: Turkey’s leading industrial placement is in Gaziantep. The existing industrial structure here in Gaziantep is our Organized Industrial Zones. They are the leading zones in Turkey on many fronts and they are the signifiers for the market’s status. We have got $ 7 billion of annual exports on average. Hence, the issue of having qualified employees needed by the industry is one of the most important concerns for us because it is all about good educated human resource in order to have an industry with high technology machines, products which requires R&D and innovation. In order to meet this requirement, it is a bit hard to find the employees whose qualifications are matching with the needs of industrialists, due to the shortcomings in our educational system. Therefore, we want to train people to have more qualified employees who have already adapted to the industry’s requirements, have the required qualifications, know the production part of the sector and its machines, have computer knowledge and can use theory and practice at the same time. For this, we planned a Vocational Training Center in the Organized Industrial Zone, as the Gaziantep Chamber of Industry. Our aim is, as I said, to train qualified employees for the industry.  

UNDP Turkey: We listened to Kürşat Göncü. The livelihood development program in the project will be implemented in Gaziantep, where the highest numbers of Syrian refugees are, as the area has been impacted by increased demand of local service delivery systems and has the highest potential for economic development. The local partners are Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality (GBB) for the service sectors trainings and Gaziantep Chamber of Industry (GSO) for the industrial sectors training. In full-scale set-up training centers for employment support/vocational trainings, 3,000 Syrians under temporary protection will receive basic life skills and language training; 600 Syrians will receive trainings in industrial sectors; and 1,200 Syrians will receive trainings in service sectors. Within this context, Kürşat Göncü explained the activities that will be done for trainings in industrial sector:

Kürşat Göncü: For this, we think of designing a training and working model planned for people who will be employed, which is the other target group for us, but who could not get a profession suitable to themselves, who want to advance more in their profession or who want to change their profession and learn about a different sector and get a job in that sector. As we were planning this, we talked with UNDP and the issue of training the Syrian refugees, who can work when the required laws and regulations are adopted, was raised. As our main aim is to train the qualified employees that the industry needs, it does not matter for us his/her race, his/her gender, where he/she is from or his/her origin, or it does not matter for us that the qualified employee is Syrian, French, English or Turkish, as long as they have required permits to work in here in accordance with the laws and regulations. We have said to the UNDP that we can organize trainings for Syrians who adapted to Gaziantep, wants to be employed, wants to find a good job opportunity as a qualified employee with good trainings. In line with the general agreement, we have stated that the training center, which is firstly for Turkish workers for their employment and for increasing their abilities with good trainings, can also be partly used for the training of Syrians who want to get trainings. UNDP said they will support us in this process. Our aim is to make these real. We continue our efforts in this direction.

UNDP Turkey: You can tell us your opinions about this episode via Twitter with #yeniufuklar hashtag. The municipal capacity building programme of the project aims to provide assistance in enhancing local administrations capacities in service delivery. In this context, the programme will be implemented in the four areas as there are problems with waste disposal sites and the municipality’s capacity to deliver the waste to the designated site and/or with capacity of the site to accommodate an increased volume of waste generated by the sudden increase in population. Kürşat Göncü said that they will contribute to the solution of the problem of having qualified employees with the vocational training component of the project:

Kürşat Göncü: Primarily, we have a problem of finding qualified employees. In fact, we can find the non-qualified ones as well, along with the qualified ones. We started this project to solve this problem. In addition, we will have an extra supply of new employees when Syrian refugees want to be employed in Gaziantep. We didn’t see a problem here because the important thing is to find a qualified and eager-to-work employees.

UNDP Turkey: We have come to end of the episode of New Horizons with the words of Kürşat Güncü, Secretary General of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry. In this episode, we talked about a project which aims to decrease the pressure on local resources of Gaziantep and Şanlıurfa, which are highly impacted by the population influx due to Syrian crisis, and to support both local population and Syrians under temporary protection. This program has been recorded at the studio of Yodiviki in İstanbul. You can follow our program on FM frequency in İstanbul, on Açık Radyo (Open Radio) on Internet, on university radios in our broadcasting network, on iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Pure Connect, Yodiviki, Audioboo and TTNET Müzik in podcast format, and also on tr.undp.org. Our user name for social media is undpturkiye. Hope to see you soon, good-bye!






















Developing local resilience for migration from Syria

Kürşat Göncü, Secretary General of Gaziantep Chamber of Industry